Startup BrandMusiq marries sound with logos to create distinct identities for brands; aims to close FY20 with 100% growth
BrandMusiq now has a few strategic investors on board. However, the company does not need any real infusion of capital.
The sound or audio with a logo is known as Mogo
It is also known as audio logo or sonic trademark as it kindles an emotional connect with the customer
A sonic identity connects with consumers at a deeper, more subliminal level
Time was when brands were known largely by their logo. Most of us know the half-eaten apple picture and know it is the Apple logo or the two birds in a nest logo and know it stands for Nestle. It could also be something as simple as the Amazon logo with a smiley underneath it and what matters is it resonates with customers.
Some iconic brands have seared their identity in the public mind through their logos. But if you have paid attention, for some time now there is the slow gathering of sound that is soaring like a conductor’s baton marshalling sound to logos. Remember the Intel Mogo? The three-second audio logo was composed in the 1980s by Austrian musician Walter Werzowa. Can you think of Intel (even reading the company name here) without the sound playing in the back of your mind?
Close to home, do you recall the HDFC music that wafts through when you swipe your debit card? Or the Raymond advertisement that has buttons do the talking as it describes its weaves? The sound of music is pithy and gets slowly identified and registered on repetitive hearing so much so that after a while you authenticate the brand with the sound.
The sound or audio with the logo is known as Mogo. It is also known as audio logo or sonic trademark as it kindles an emotional connect with the customer.
In India, BrandMusiq, a startup by former advertising professionals — Rajeev Raja and JS Mani— claims to be the first to break into this field. BrandMusiq is a sonic branding agency which helps brands create sonic identity for themselves. Incidentally, the HDFC and Raymond mogos are their handiwork among a slew of audio tracks they have done for brands.
The startup was co-founded by Raja and his best friend Mani in 2012. While Mani was the president of DDB Mudra, an integrated marketing communications and services network, Raja was its former national creative director. Raja is a jazz and fusion flautist who had his own band while he was in Bengaluru. Since moving to Mumbai in 1989, he has played with leading names of the music world like Shankar Mahadevan, Fazal Qureshi, Salim Sulaiman and Taufiq Qureshi.
Advertising still held its charm for Raja but he found he had little time to spend on his passion—playing the flute. Over a course of many discussions, Raja and Mani decided to meld music and advertising and see the results. BrandMusiq was born with a paid-up capital of Rs 1 lakh. The resources were pooled in from the savings of Raja and Mani.
Explaining the startup’s USP, Raja said BrandMusiq expresses a brand’s essence by applying the "science of sound and the art of music.“
Mani, Raja’s partner passed away following a heart attack in 2015. “My partner, mentor and best friend’s death was a huge personal loss. It also was a setback to the momentum we had built up,” Raja said.
But luckily for Raja, he met up with Ajit Verma, a childhood friend who he had worked with for over two decades. Verma was the MD for JWT earlier. “He has the business and practical sense,” said Raja. “So when the passion boils over with the business idea getting sidetracked, Verma pulls the wire to get the team and me out of our musical reverie," he said.
How it works
The duo presents a Sonic Moodboard to the client. 'Sketches of sound’ are presented to initiate an understanding of the ‘zone of sound and instrumentation’ that the brand can operate which best reflects its persona and values, says Verma explaining the process.
“We create a sonic identity that connects with consumers at a deeper, more subliminal level. And this is where the MOGO or ‘musical logo’ plays a crucial role”, Raja explained.
Customer experience has become a debatable topic these days, said Verma. “The expectations of customers are increasing every day. And word-of-mouth travels fast. Customer experience adds on to a customer's expectations. A superior experience for customers is a challenge which brands are facing these days with limitations in branding. For a brand, every location where a brand can be heard is an opportunity for Sonic Branding to make an impression. It is strategically important for a brand to touch their customer's ear-points,” he said.
BrandMusiq now has a few strategic investors on board. However, the company did not need any real infusion of capital, said Verma. The startup’s revenue grew five-fold, he said. At the close of FY19-20, BrandMusiq will have a 100 percent growth over the previous year, claimed Verma.